Hammond and Rider's Council back ProTour in Paris-Nice row

Roger Hammond is part of the CPA Rider's Council representing professional cyclists. Earlier this...

Roger Hammond is part of the CPA Rider's Council representing professional cyclists. Earlier this week they allied with the UCI in regard to the decision by ASO to block ProTour team Unibet.com from riding Paris-Nice.

The T-Mobile rider talked to Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes this weekend, explaining why the Council feels that ASO are wrong in their stance.

This week has been marked by an escalation of the dispute between the UCI and ASO, with the latter reiterating that it will not invite ProTour team Unibet.com to Paris-Nice. This has been passed off by some as being a consequence of the French restrictions on gambling, but Saturday's news that the organisers of the Vuelta have also said that they will block the Swedish-registered team show that the stance is due, at least partly, to the struggle between the UCI and the Grand Tour organisers.

One group which should perhaps have the most say is seldom heard from; that of the riders themselves. The organisers are responsible for putting on the events and the UCI is responsible for running the sport, but those actually pedalling the bikes are the people who the whole sport revolves around. Yet in spite of their 24-7 involvement - or, perhaps, because of - they lack a strong political clout.

The establishment of the CPA's Council of Riders of the Association of Professional Cyclists has however afforded riders a bigger role in the sport. Led by Jens Voigt and Jose Luis Rubiera and also featuring riders such as Matthias Kessler, Michael Rogers, Philippe Gilbert, Iñigo Cuesta, Cédric Vasseur, Thomas Dekker, George Hincapie, Filippo Pozzato, Fabian Cancellara, Roger Hammond, Denis Menchov, Thor Hushovd, José Azevedo and Dario Cioni, they are acting as a representative group and a communication link between those in the suits and those on two wheels.

To read which stance Roger Hammond and the CPA take on the ProTour issues, click here.

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